2007-03-10: It's A Big World


Claudine_icon.gif TC_icon.gif

Date It Happened: March 10, 2007

Summary: With so many things going on in the first week as an agent, Claudine confides in T.C. and tells him what she knows and they have a heart to heart. Awwww. WARNING: It's very MUSHY

It's a Big World

John Jay Dormitory, Columbia University, NY

This whole leading a dual life is hard. It also hasnt been much help on trying to catch up with classes when you're asked to interrogate people, albeit in a nice fashion. And the whole bagging and tagging..yeah, it just doesnt feel right. As such, Claudine's in her dorm room just sitting at her desk as she looks over today's notes.

The roommate is gone, but the room itself is quite clean. Claudine cleaned it up of course, and it's definitely girly. One side has posters of shirtless men, like Justin Timberlake and other such celebrities. That's obviously the roommate's. The other side has pictures of her and her family. Various sculptures she's been working on, and other artsy things. It also has a lot of books, on topics ranging from molecular biology to geology. that's obviously her side.

Now that she cant really study, she opens up her notepad..from the notes that she'd been taking with the Company. A tornado in New York? some vial crashing with a biohazard sign? Oh dears..wh couldnt she just be normal..

T.C. is, at least, pretty normal. He is the picture of a normal premed student as he saunters down the hall towards Claudine's room — somewhat rumpled, somewhat harried, quite overloaded with books. He runs fingers through his hair before he knocks on the door, attempting with only marginal success to push it into slightly less disarray. The knock comes with identification: not waiting for an answer, he calls, "Claudine? Y'in?" nearly as soon as his knuckles have rapped on the door.

"The door's unlocked, T.C!" she calls out before closing the notepad once more.She doesnt want to freak him out afterall, and there's lots of things on her mind that need to be talked about. Tornados in New York being the last on a long list.

Once he's inside, it would seem that she didnt really head out today. She's still in her pink pajamas and a sky blue baby-tshirt with Tweety Bird on her chest.

The door opens, and T.C.'s head pokes on before the rest of him follows. "Hey," he greets, hands slipping into his pockets. He blinks slightly at her attire; he himself is in faded baggy jeans and an oversized Columbia sweatshirt.
"You weren't in class today. I brought you notes. They're — in here — somewhere." He drops his heavy backpack to the floor with a thud, kneeling to root through it. It is sort of a mess — papers and books and notebooks jammed inside in a disorganized jumble. The papers he finally extracts have been pushed to the bottom of the bag and are crumpled, but legible. He offers them out towards her sheepishly. "Sorry. Kind of a mess. But they're all here."

"I..well..you noticed huh. I've been trying to catch up and I just dont seem to have the time.." she admits ruefully as she eases on up and helps gather the things, letting out a soft giggle of amusement. She cant help it though, and she'll steal a quick peck on the cheeks, "And thanks, you're a sweetheart for doing this.." she says while trying to organize the falling piles of papers. "And wow..you take really good notes.." giving them a once over.

"And sorry I havent been available as much..I sort of have a lot of things going on. Do..do you remember what I told you before? About that group that sort of takes in people to help them with their powers?" she asks while closing the door behind him and locking it. She doesnt want interruptions afterall.
"Well," T.C. says, blushing at the peck and keeping his eyes focused on his backpack, "I'm — you know. If you need help. Catching up. I can. Help, I mean." He rocks back on his heels, shoving the last of his things back into his bag and zipping it. He doesn't get up after, instead just taking a seat on the floor next to his backpack, one arm draped loosely over the bag. "Yeah? Have they been bothering you again?" He frowns, and glances up towards Claudine with a worried expression.

"Not so much bothering me, but..asking me for help.." Claudine says as she flops onto her bed and motions for T.C. to come sit as well. "I was wrong about them. What they're trying to do..well, it's a good thing. They want to protect people like us, cause well, if people knew about people with our abilities..well, it wouldnt be good. Also, they want to teach control to those who dont have it so they wont be a danger to themselves and others. I know, I was like that before.." she admits ruefully.

"So..I sort of work at one of their rehabilitation centers..trying to make people comfortable and stuff. Make them realize that they need the Company's help so they can go back to their lives without worrying that they might hurt the people around them with their powers.." she says softly, not quite sure how T.C. will take it. "But..I think I'm in too deep now..I'm doing things..that..that I'm not really comfortable with now.."

T.C. starts to push himself back to his feet when Claudine beckons, but drops back to sit on the floor again as she speaks. The furrow in his brow deepens. "You're — working — with them? But they — they abducted you! They kidnap people." His lower lip catches between his teeth and he chews at it uncertainly. "What — what are they making you do?"

"Well..I havent kidnapped anyone, if that's what you're asking. Most people there that I've met have been voluntary. The only ones who are taken, are those who were especially dangerous and lost control of their powers..like..me.." Claudine says as her cheeks flush a bright tinge of red at that. She takes a deep breath and looks back towards him, "They do good work, they really do. It's better than the alternatives out there..there are people who would take advantage of people like us.." she says, sounding rather sincere about what she's saying.

She then takes a deep breath and hrmms for a few moments. "They wanted me to find out a few things for them..and I did. I didnt hurt anyone though..I'm trying to make sure that the others dont get all triggerhappy when trying to find things out from people." Yes, she's just using that as a euphemism for interrogation. "There's these paintings..they apparently tell the future..and then there are these people who want to attack the Company.."

T.C. rubs at his eyes, his frown still firmly in place. In the room around them, the lights briefly flicker, unsteady. "I don't see how it's up to them to decide," he says slowly. "The — 'dangerous' ones. They can't just make that decision for people." He lets out a slow breath, and his fingers fiddle restless and nervous with one shoelace. "Triggerhappy? They're hurting people." It is more a statement than a question. Not a very happy statement, either. "I imagine if they're kidnapping people like that there's more than a few people who want to attack them. What do you mean — tell the future? How does a painting do that?"

"I..I stop them from hurting people. I'm there to remind them that we're there to take care of them..at least that's why I was hired..I'm sort of..the conscience..I think.." Claudine says softly as she decides to go against the whole combat training thing that she's currently undergoing as well. "And yes..there are dangerous people out there. I was one of them.." she says once again, apparently believing what they told her completely. "But..they dont kidnap..at least they havent since I joined.." at least as she's aware of.

Then onto the subject of the paintings. She eases on up and grabs her notepad with the notes on what she found out and shows it to him. "There was this guy..he had the power to see the future or something like that..and he made these paintings that supposedly depict them.." In hernotes, he'd see her notes about a tornado that destroys New York, the vial smashing with a biohazard sign and other such things. "We..well..we want to find those paintings so they dont get into the wrong hands.." Yes, that's spindoctoring again..

T.C. exhales a disbelieving snort, and his head shakes as he accepts the notes. "You're — I just don't get how you can — people like that aren't /safe/." He scans the notes, jaw tightening and his expression torn between puzzlement and shock. "How does this — company — get to decide what the wrong hands are? From where I sit, it doesn't seem like /their/ hands are all that right." He rubs at his eyes again, and scoots backwards, just slightly. His hands are shaking a little, the papers he holds rustling quietly with the trembling motion. "It doesn't feel right. You're going to get hurt. Or end up doing something you regret."

"I..I'm in too deep already." Claudine whispers softly, sounding like she does regret agreeing partially, but her intentions are good. "Look..I want to help people, and they're going to help me go to other countries so I can use my powers to make the land arable. That's why I agreed to help them. The Company isnt bad. They're needed. If they werent there, there would be others that would try to exploit people like us. And well..I want to protect..people I care about.." Her cheeks flush a bright tinge of red as she squirms a little. "Like you."

"I..I know about your connection to the Johanssen Foundation. They're not good people..if anything they're worse than the Company. I almost accepted an internship from them, but I found out some things..that well..isnt good either.." she says sighing a little while running her fingers through her hair.

"What?" T.C. frowns. "They're giving me a scholarship. That's all." He continues to pick at his shoelace, and the lights flicker again. "Getting an opportunity to do good doesn't justify doing /bad/, Claudine, I just don't get — I didn't think you'd — I thought you were —" His eyes squeeze shut, and his fingers run through his hair, mussing up his original attempt to straighten it. "I've spent the last years of my life terrified of — I've tried so hard to hide from people like —" He pauses, gaze ticking up towards Clauding a moment before dropping. "Them," he finishes reluctantly. "And just because other people might maybe do /horrible/ things to us doesn't mean it's okay for them to step in and do /bad/ things first."

Claudine blinks blankly for a few moments as she looks up at the light flickering, and she immediately knows the source. She knows about his powers afterall. She reaches out to take his hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. "You thought I was what?" she asks gently, wanting to know. "I..was hoping you'd understand why I was doing this. I want to make sure that they dont mistreat the people they take in. I'm trying to be their conscience.." she says matter of factly, sincerely believing that she's doing the right thing. "They have good intentions..and I want to make sure those intentions remain pure."

"I know you're just receiving a scholarship from the Foundation.." she says, changing the subject while sighing once more. "And I'm not going to interfere in any manner..just be careful around the Johanssen woman. She's like us..except she has no qualms about using her powers. She..she was reading my mind and found out everything. She even wanted me to use my powers to help her rebuild her building.."

With T.C.'s nerves jangling the way they are, the contact is less than pleasant. There's a brief jolt of static shock from his hand, and his body right now is something of a live wire; there's a constant current of electricity coming from his touch, though it isn't enough to cause any serious damage. Still, he pulls his hand back sharply, eyes widening in brief alarm. "I don't understand," he says, quietly. "I'm sorry, but I don't." His arms wrap around his chest, as if warding off cold, though his sweatshirt is plenty warm enough. "…she /reads minds/?"

"Oww!" Claudine winces a little at the static shock, but she gets over it and frowns a little. "It's okay..I was hoping you'd understand though.." she admits ruefully, sighing a little as she looks down at the ground. Then at the mention of Rianna, she simply nods. "She does..I started becoming suspicious when she was hinting at my powers. Then she talked about you when I hadnt brought you up, and then she started speaking to me..in my mind..or something like that. She's a dangerous woman..I just dont want you to get hurt either.."

"Sorry," T.C. says softly, fingers curling loosely into fists. "I'm — it's a lot to — I guess I'm a little on edge." That may be an understatement. "Just, these people are like — everything I've been scared of ever since I —" He shrugs a shoulder. "That's sorta — sorta scary. I don't think I like the thought of people in my head. And I certainly didn't think she'd care about — I'm just a student."

"T.C." she says, trying to reach out and take his hand out once, not minding whatever shock she gets. "One reason I took it was so I can monitor who they're going to take next. I…I dont want you taken in, either by the foundation or the company. So as long as I'm there, you dont have to worry about the Company, okay?" Claudine says, trying to emphasize that fact by giving his hand a reassuring squeeze.

There's still a constant buzz of energy, more startling than painful, really. T.C. takes deep breaths, and doesn't try to pull away this time; his gaze drops to look at their joined hands, and he swallows hard. "I just — hope you know what you're getting yourself into. I don't want anything to happen to you."

"Just take deep cleansing breaths and think happy thoughts." Claudine advices him as her cheeks flush a bright tinge of red once, wincing every now and then as a jolt become painful. However, she doesnt let go, and takes his other hand as well before giving it a gentle squeeze. "I'm a big girl, T.C. But..I do think your concern is sweet.." she says, smiling impishly before bumping her forehead against his own.

"It's a big world," T.C. replies with a brief flicker of a not-quite-happy smile. "Bigger than you." He closes his eyes tiredly, and slowly pries his hands out of Claudine's. "I should go. Just — too much to —" He exhales a slow sigh. "Sorry."

Claudine frowns a little as she presses her lips to his cheek once more before letting go. "I know.." she says softly before bringing her feet up to her bed, chewing on her bottom lip. "And well..if I'm not here tomorrow..just know that I really like you T.C." she says softly, thinking about the attack and what might happen if she's there for it..

"Don't say that," T.C. replies worriedly, standing. "I mean, just — keep yourself safe. Please." He doesn't even blush at this kiss, a testament to how much his worry is eclipsing most all his other feelings. He hoists his backpack onto his shoulder, and offers Claudine a weak, uncertain smile. "I'll — see you later." He hopes.

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